A couple of years ago, one of our regular readers at the Daily Brief made a comment, to the effect that now Americans venturing overseas were very much more not-safe than they had been before the WOT, because we had alienated so many of the Muslim faith. Frankly, I hadnâ€™t noticed us being all that safe before 2001, the random murderous malice of a fair number of adherents of Hizbollah, the PLO, the Iranian mullahs, various Pakistani Islamists, and a fair number of radical leftists being directed particularly at American diplomats, military and tourists during the three decades previous to 2001. I researched and posted the following list of incident in response; it was depressing work, as I had forgotten many of them, although I had been overseas and serving with the Air Force during much of that time.
So, just in case anyone thinks that just stopping the war in Iraq will make everything go back to the way it used to be, terrorwise, here is the list again:
Item: 30 May, 1972. Members of the Japanese Red Army Faction, acting on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, open fire at Ben Gurion Airport, killing 26 and wounding 78. Many of them are American citizens from Puerto Rico
Item: 2 March 1973. Two American diplomats are taken hostage and murdered by at the US Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan; it is thought members of the Fatah faction were responsible, and that PLO leader Yassir Arafat gave the order for the murders.
Item: 23 December 1975 : Richard Welch, the CIA Station chief in Athens is murdered in front of his house by the Greek N17 terrorist group.
Item: 11 August 1976. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine attacks the El Al terminal at the airport in Istanbul, Turkey. An American citizen is among the 4 killed.
Item: 1 January, 1977. The ambassador to Lebanon and the US Economic counselor are kidnapped by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine at a checkpoint in Beirut, and later murdered.
Item: 4 November 1979. A radical Islamic student faction seized the US Embassy in Tehran, and hold 66 diplomats and American citizens hostage. Thirteen are released, but the others are held until January of 1981.
Item: 17 December 1981: Italian terrorist group â€œRed Brigadesâ€ kidnaps a senior US army officer in Italy, BG. James Dozier; he is rescued by Italian police forces.
Item: 19 August 1982. Two American citizens are killed when the PLO bombs a Jewish restaurant in Paris, France.
Item: 18 April 1983. A truck-bomb kills 68 at the US Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. Hizbollah, with backing from Iran is held responsible.
Item: 23 October 1983. A truck bomb destroys US Marine HQ in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 241 Marines. Hizbollah, apparently with the assistance of Syrian intelligence, and Iranian financing.
Item: 18 January-20 September 1983. In Beirut, Lebanon, the president of the American University (an American citizen) is assassinated. The head of the CNN news bureau is kidnapped, but escapes. A political officer from the US embassy is also kidnapped, but he was never released, and his body never found. A suicide bomb on the US Embassy killed 23. A van full of explosives detonated near the US Embassy annex in Aukar, Lebanon kills 2 Americans and a number of local employees and bystanders.
Item: 15 November 1983. The head of the Joint US Military Aid Group-Greece, US Navy Captain George Tsantes, along with his Greek driver is murdered on his way to work by the terrorist group N-17.
Item: 3 April 1984. A US Army NCO, Robert Judd is attacked while driving between JUSMAGG and the American air base at Hellenikon by the terrorist group N-17. He is injured, but survives.
Item: 12 April 1984. A popular restaurant near Torrejon AB, Spain is bombed. 18 US service members are killed. Hisbollah, again.
Item: 4 December 1984. Hisbollah hijacks a Kuwait Airlines flight en route from Dubai to Karachi. Two American passengers are murdered.
Item: 2 February 1985. Bobbyâ€™s in Glyphada, a bar popular with American service personnel in Athens is blown up with a small suitcase bomb. No one is killed, but many injuries.
Item: 14 June 1985. TWA Flight 847, from Athens to Rome was hijacked by Hisbollah. A US Navy diver returning from a TDY was murdered and his body dumped on the runway.
Item:8 August 1985. A car loaded with explosives is driven into a busy parking lot at the American base at Rhein-Main, and detonated. Two are killed, twenty injured. The Red Army Faction claims credit. It is thought the murder of an American soldier several days previous was done to secure his ID card, and facilitate moving the car bomb onto a guarded installation.
Item: 7 October 1985. The cruise- ship Achille Lauro was hijacked by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. They threw an elderly disabled American man into the ocean. His wheelchair was thrown in afterwards.
Item: 27 December 1985. Terrorists from the Abu Nidal organization shoot up the El Al offices at Romeâ€™s international airport. Seven Americans were among the 87 killed and wounded.
Item: 30 March 1986: A bomb exploded on a TWA Rome/Athens flight. Four Americans were killed, although the aircraft landed safely in Athens. The Fatah group was held responsible.
Item: 19 June 1985. Four off-duty Marines assigned to the American Embassy in San Salvador are murdered by local terrorists, while sitting at a table at a sidewalk cafÃ©. They were in civilian clothes at the time.
Item: 5 April 1986. An explosion at a nightclub in Berlin popular with American service personnel kills three and injures 191. Two of the dead and 41 of the wounded are service personnel. The Libyan government is held responsible.
Item: 5 September 1986. Abu Nidal terrorists hijack a Karachi/Frankfurt Pan Am flight, and divert it to Cypress, demanding the freedom for three convicted murderers in exchange for the lives of the passengers. They eventually kill 22 of them, including two Americans.
Item: 9 September-21 October 1986: Three American citizens, two of them associated with the American University in Beirut are kidnapped. Two of them are held for 5 years by Hisbollah.
Item: 20 October 1987. An Air Force NCO and a retiree are murdered just outside Clark AB, in the Philippines.
Item: 27 December 87. An American civilian employee is killed in the bombing of the USO Club in Barcelona, Spain.
Item: 17 February 1988: Colonel William Higgins, USMC, while serving as part of the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organization in Lebanon, was abducted by Hisbollah. The US refused to negotiate, and Colonel Higgins was excecuted.
Item: 28 June 1988, a defense attachÃ© to the American Embassy in Athens, US Navy Captain William Nordeen is murdered by the N-17 terrorist group, using a car bomb
Item: 21 December 1988. Pan American Flight 103, from Frankfurt to New York, was blown up over Scotland by agents of the government of Libya. Most of the 259 passengers are Americans. Another 11 people are killed on the ground.
Item: 21 April- 26 September 1989. An American army officer is assassinated in Manila, and two military retirees are murdered just outside the gates of Clark AB, the Philippines.
Item: 13 May 1990. Two young enlisted men are found murdered, outside Clark AB, the Philippines.
Item: 7-18 February 1991: Members of a far-leftist Turkish group kill an American civilian contractor at Incirlik AB, and wound an Air Force officer at his home in Izmir.
Item: 12 March 91: Air Force NCO, Ronald Stewart is killed by a car bomb in front of his house, in Athens, by the N-17 group.
Item: 28 October 1991. An American soldier is killed, and his wife wound by a car bomb at a joint Turkish-American base in Ankara. The Turkish Islamic Jihad claims responsibility. at October 28, 1991, Ankara, Turkey. Victor Marwick, an American soldier serving at the Turkish-American base, Tuslog, was killed and his wife wounded in a car bomb attack. Two more car bombs in Istanbul kill an Air Force NCO, and an Egyptian diplomat. The Turkish Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Item: 5 July 1992. In a series of incidents in southeastern Turkey, the Kurdish PKK kidnaps 19 Western tourists, including one American. They are all eventually released unharmed.
Item: 26 February 1993. A bomb in a cafÃ© in downtown Cairo kills three. Two Americans are among the injured.
Item: 8 March 1995 Two gunmen armed with AK-47s open fire on a van belonging to the US Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan. Two embassy staffers are killed, one injured.
Item: 4 July 1995. A Kashmiri militant group takes six tourists, including two Americans hostage, demanding the release of Muslim militants held in Indian prisions. One of the Americans escapes, and the militants execute a Norwegian hostage. Both the American and Indian governments refuse to deal. It is assumed the rest of the hostages were killed in 1996 by their captors.
Item: 13 November 1995. A car bomb in the parking lot of a building that houses a US military advisory group in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia kills seven person, five of them American citizens.
Item: 25 June 1996. An explosive-laden fuel truck explodes outside the Khobar Towers housing facility in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. 19 American military personnel are killed, and 515 persons are injured. A group identified as the Saudi Hizbollah is held responsible.
Item: 12 November 1997. Four American employees of an oil company and their Pakistani driver are murdered by two unidentified gunmen, as they leave the Sheraton Hotel in Karachi, Pakistan.
Item: 7 August 1998. Car bombs explode at the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, and at the US Embassy in Dar es Salaâ€™am, Tanzania. 292 are killed in Nairobi, including 12 Americans and injured over 5,000. The Dar es Salaâ€™am explosion kills 11 and injures 86. Osama bin Ladenâ€™s al-Qaida network claims responsibility.
Item: 28 December 1998. Sixteen tourists, including two Americans are kidnapped in Yemen. One hostage and a Yemeni guide escaped, and four hostages were later killed when local authorities closed in.
Item: 12 October 2000. A small boat laden with explosives rammed the USS Cole. The explosion kills 13 sailors and injures 33.
Sgt. Mom is a retired Air Force NCO and freelance writer, who lives in San Antonio and blogs at The Daily Brief